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Scouting Report | Wolves vs. Hornets

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Game

This is the final game of the Timberwolves’ four-game homestand and marks the 10th of the last 12 games at Target Center.

So far, the Wolves are 8-3 over that stretch and sit at 12-12 overall, tied for ninth in the West. 

Minnesota is coming off a huge win over the Rockets on Monday night. It was a game in which the Wolves were down 19 in the second quarter, but managed to fight back and win 103-91.

After this home stretch, the Wolves head West for a four-game road trip against the Blazers, Warriors, Kings and Suns, respectively. 

The Hornets are 11-12, good for seventh in the East. The Hornets have lost two-straight games, the most-recent coming against the Pelicans on Sunday evening in Charlotte. 

This is the first of two matchups between the two teams this season. They’ll face off again on March 21 in Charlotte. 

Last season, the two teams split the season series. Both teams won on their homecourt.

What: Wolves vs. Hornets
When: 7 p.m. CT
Where: Target Center
Watch: Fox Sports North
Listen: 830 WCCO  
Tickets  

Enjoying The Hustle

It’s no secret that the Wolves have more energy since acquiring Robert Covington and Dario Saric. Since making the trade three weeks ago, the Wolves are allowing just 40.5 points per game in the paint, the NBA’s best per-game average during that time. Prior to the trade, the team was allowing 51.2 points per game. 

During that stretch, the team also ranks third in second-chance points offensively, while ranking third in the NBA allowing just 9.1 fast-break points per game. 

In no coincidence, only two teams have more wins than the Wolves over that stretch.

Covington leads the league in steals and ranks 16th in blocks. The only other player to rank in the top-16 in both categories is Anthony Davis. 

Covington’s teammate, Karl-Anthony Towns, is tied for 13th in blocks on the season. 

All-NBA Watch

If not for Kemba Walker, Hornets fans dread where this team would be.

Walker surely looks like he’s on his way to his third-straight All-Star team, and maybe an All NBA team.

In his eighth NBA season, Walker is averaging a career-high 26.5 points per game (eighth in the NBA) to go with 6.2 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. 

After scoring 60 and 43 points on Nov. 21 and Nov. 23, respectively, Walker has struggled, relative to his standards.

In the last seven games, Walker has averaged 19.6 points per game while shooting just 37.5 percent from the field and 26.1 percent from the 3-point line. 

The Wolves will look to add to Walker’s slump. History tells us that’s entirely possible. In two games against Minnesota last season, Walker averaged just 11.5 points per game while shooting 29.6 percent from the field and 20 percent from the 3-point line. 

Injury Report: 

Wolves: Jerryd Bayless (knee) is out. 

Hornets: Marvin Williams (shoulder) is out. 

Projected Starting Lineups: 

Wolves: PG - Teague, SG – Wiggins, SF – Covington, PF – Gibson, C - Towns

Hornets: PG – Walker, SG – Lamb, SF – Batum, PF – Kaminsky, C - Hernangomez